Advertising on the Net
Advertising on the net is not really happening
in a major way in India. Most people feel that
it is too early to comment on this issue. Others
feel that there is a huge untapped potential,
provided we do things the right way. In spite
of the fact that many dotcoms have crashed, most
people agree that the net is here to stay. Imagine
a world without e-mails! The Internet has changed
the character of business, it has changed the
lifestyle of people, it has changed the way we
communicate and the way we conduct business.
a great eyeball rate doesn't really get converted
into ad revenues, because there are no proper
standards of judging traffic. Parametres such
as clicks per month, total number of pageviews,
and click throughs etc are viewed with suspicion,
as there are no third party audits to justify
these claims.So standardisation is one issue.
The other issue we are faced with is, what do
we have to do to convert traffic into ad revenues?
Ad revenues can happen only if we are able to
sustain 'regular viewership' as in television
viewership. People get onto the net for various
reasons. Offering information and services that
are relevant to all 'groups' is the key. Many
companies in India are looking at the net as a
serious medium for advertising. Among those spending
resources on this medium are music companies,
publications and FMCGs.
The most preferred sites according to a leading
media planner from a prominent ad agency in the
city is, "any site that makes sense across
the country/countries. Nobody goes through a brandsite
for more than one or one-and-a half times. But
various segments of people come to portals for
various reasons. Brandsites will do better to
have links through these sites. Portals can be
the best medium or 'the' medium for advertisement,
as they offer a little of something to everyone".Lets
listen to what others have to say on this...
Sumantra Sen Gupta, Vice
President & Client Services Director, HTA,
now a miniscule number at home is surfing the
net. When this number becomes large, you should
find ways of reaching it. Everywhere there is
a realisation of the new economy. Everywhere people
feel " I must learn to use the net".
People are scared of letting it pass by. In HTA,
we have one person dedicated just to monitor our
client's presence on the net. That way, there
is a strong sense of its tremendous potential.
P M Austin, CEO, Paisapower
Very early days...but it is the most accountable
form of advertising.
N Raghunandan, Managing
Director, Servion Global Solutions Ltd
It does have a future. Direct junk mail just
hits you more than anything else. Effectiveness
will depend on how you communicate and then how
much you communicate. Though it will not take
away much of print or television ads for a long
time to come, it will play an important role in
the future. Companies have to be aware that its
a niche audience. The audience is totally different
from those of the other media.
N. Sekhar, President, E-Business,
will relate it to any new technology or any new
finding that people go through in life. There
was the gold rush, than the tulip rushÖyou have
all these rushes. Initially its so hot, people
do not look at fundamentals. They forget the basics
of how businesses run and things like that. I
think its good that it happened so fast. It did
not last too long. People got hurt, hopefully
not too many. What has happened is good. Good
money will start to flow in. A lot more reality
checks will be in place. So that castles will
not be built in the air. Eyeballs will still be
there. End of the day, itís a question of monetising.
Like Jack Welch said the other day on CNBC,
"It doesnít matter what you have on
the site, if you are unable to monetise it, its
not worth being there". Whether you are
a newspaper site, GE, Doordarshan or
BNP. There has to be some level of monetisation.
Monetisation doesnít necessarily mean advertisement;
it has to have a monetary value. It has to have
the ability to invoke a transaction; it has to
have the ability to sell itself. So itís no longer
for the sake of eyeballs.
Today, people spend a lot of money on print media
and TV. For them the Internet is yet another media.
Many of them do not understand how this media
works. So the good news on the net is we get feedback.
Whereas the other media, you are not quite sure.
You have to depend upon numbers that come once
in a year, to get some feedback as to how your
campaign went. Whereas the net being an interactive
media, immediate feedback is one big advantage.
But advertising on the net is not for everybody.
Unless you are on the net yourself, there is no
use advertising. So any company that wants to
advertise on the net should have the presence.
There is no use advertising when they click on
the ad and you are not there. Itís not like a
print ad. When the customer clicks on your ad,
you should be able to take him somewhere and give
him something and then make him transact. So it
has to be a complete strategy. Advertising doesnít
come on its own. It has to come after you define
your e-strategy. Thatís the key. But advertising
on the net will increase. Some people are saying
it will surpass any other media in the next five
years. As of today I will take it with a pinch
of salt. But thatís probably closer to truth.
This is the only place where you get the users
attention on a one-to-one basis.